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Alloy Heads.....are they worth the extra cost??

Hi all,

I have finally made a decision to use a 253 in my FX ute, i have stumbled accross a set of commodore cup alloy heads for $2,500 and i was wondering if they are worth it.

I was going to stroke it, but after doing some reading on various other sites about the commodore cup engine i don't know if i need to, maybe a nice set of alloy heads will do the job?

Thoughts?

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IMO yes they are.
they have a couple of bad points, The metal can go soft from the heat annealing them, alloy and cast iron have different heat and cooling rates so the headgasket has to deal with that and a cast iron block with an alloy head can suffer electrolysis.
The good points, less weight with a lower center of gravity. A better design of port with increased flow, The short turns and exhaust ports in the standard 253/308 heads were woeful. Alloy has better heat dissipation so the combustion chamber is more efficient. This allows you to run more boost or timing advance or a leaner mixture before pinging (Detonation) becomes a problem.
There is prolly more but that is all that comes to mind ATM. I would go for the alloys.

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hiy_po
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if u are interested i have a set of vn 5liter heads 4sale $200 pair were off a running motor but i suggest reco

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What brand are they? Let me guess Pro Comp. If they are you may as well just bin them.
I am not into V8s I love my 202 and the look on other V8 drivers when I go past them.
I have a 70cc 12 port alloy head from Yella terra. Paid for it about 2 weeks ago and still waiting for it to arrive. When it does it will go into the machine shop for o ringing and then some 1.6/1.7 exhaust valves and porting to the exhaust ports to suit which ever valve will fit.
But thanks for the offer.

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hiy_po
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If you can afford it, I'd go with the alloys. I'm not sure on the price, but Yella-Terra do them. If I was getting alloys, I'd get new ones, unless I knew the seller, and the history, of the used ones. Definitely a better idea than the stroker kit, and will be a big help keeping the weight down. An aluminium radiator would be good too - if it's not blowing the budget!

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just wondering-is a 253 going to meet the pollution laws when you get to engineering and blue slip time?

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Check the heads first, before you buy them. Ask the seller if you can get the heads crack tested and straight checked at your expense (about $150) before you hand over $2500. If they are duds, your about $2350 better off.... Or as suggested above, go through Yellaterra and get a warranty.
Cheers

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I have a set of brand new Dave Bennett aluminium heads to suit 253 /308 original blocks / manifold with new roller rockers if interested.They were off a 383 I purchased but I am using vn style heads.No idea how long they were in storage,but never used.Yours or anyones for $ 3000.00 Ring 0427 872 846

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Holden nob

Here are some answers to my original post.

The original alloy heads that i sourced were yella terra commodore cup heads not procomp, i to have not heard great things about those heads.

I don't believe the 253 will be subject to pollution laws due to the age of the ute it will be going into (1951).

Do VN alloy heads fit on a standard 253? why don't you hear of people doing this?

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I've more than thought of it! I was going to suggest it, but it will add considerably to your cost, as you will need to get a Harrop inlet manifold (or similar, but I'd stick with the Harrop!). They're not cheap - I think around $800+, and you'd have to get a VN-style cam, and all the other bits to suit. I'm planning to do one myself - they will fit - there's no difference between 253 & 308 heads. No one's bothered, as they'd rather play with 308's! As I want something "streetable" I'm getting a Harrop dual-plane manifold, 570 Street Avenger Holley, Waggot Cam (not sure on the grind yet; but to suit the carbie (good for 7000 rpm), MSD Ignition, electric fuel and water pump, and all the other (obvious) stuff. Of course, you'll get the 253 "knockers", but you've seen what the C/C motors can do - and they're stuck to a strict set of rules! (You're not!) If you can afford what you're describing, in an FX ute, it will be very light, and very QUICK! But, of course, a million 308 fans will say otherwise..... By the way, I have seen a 253 with "injection" heads, but it had injection. I'd prefer the carbie. If you stick with the dual plane manifold, and can get the right (mystery?) cam, you'll be able to keep the gearing tall (due to the light weight) and still get good economy (my guess, 20 mpg with a light foot), and performance. And as an idea of the performance you can expect - there was an FX sedan (in the 70's) with a stock 253 (complete with Stromberg carbie!) and (from memory) a Trimatic, doing 15's (street registered/ street trim) A stock 253 puts out 185 HP - you'd have double that! No, you don't need to worry about pollution laws! (Good, eh!)

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I would go for the 253 alloy heads rather than the 308 ones. The development put into them is to make them work with a 253 and my logic tells me that if the VN heads performed better they would be using them. I have seen a set of the old yella terra cast iron heads that were for the 253 and they had inserts to run smaller valves than the standard heads because that was what made the most horsepower and torque with the 253. The 253 and 308 had different part numbers once modified by yella terra. I have no doubt that the commy cup heads would have been developed a heap more than the old cast iron ones and would make a 253 run at its peak performance.
Just my thoughts.

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hiy_po
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"Standard Yella-Terra" 308 valves were obviously bigger than "standard" 253/308 valves Hopefully, Yella-Terra can provide suitable "VN" style heads to suit your 253.

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Just checked the specs - standard valves are 1.76 in and 1.48 ex, while the Yella-Terra VN Alloy heads come standard with 2.02 and 1.60. They will do custom valve/spring combos (for an extra charge) They come in 3 "stages". You don't want to go too big, so the 1st stage, with whatever size valves they recommend, would be the go - if you can afford it! You have to be careful with cam lift on a 253 too, as the valves overlap the bores. So if you do go ahead with it, get a cam custom ground to suit. (more $$$!)

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Refering to the original post... Why not start with a 308 ? its horsepower your chasing. For the same time, effort and money you will get bigger power.
Unless your building a pure race engine you will be throwing your money away on the alloy heads, get some vn or later heads and spend the $1500 you will save on a vn cam, inlet manifold and headers.

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one very sucsessfull fisherman.

"The short turns and exhaust ports in the standard 253/308 heads were woeful."

Thats a LOAD of Crap ! Red - black std valve heads anyway - Fact the Port Flow is Way up the - the floor radius has no problen & can be made to overflow compaired to intake flow balance with even just a multi-angle Exh valve job.
Gee you read so crap on web forums

unless some have a vested interest (ala Rarespares Moderators)

The Std 253 heads More than handle a decent cam *unmodified*

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Be interesting to see the difference between a 253 with sooper-dooper (tm) heads and a 308 with bog standard VN heads, everything else being equal. Not just the numbers difference but the actual car performance difference. My money is on the 308.

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